You may enjoy this book with over
5,000 people's last words: Real
Last Words of Notable People
Adams, John (1735-1826) "Thomas Jefferson--still survives..."
(4 July 1826. Jefferson died on the same day.)
Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848) "This is the last of earth! I am
Addison, Joseph (1672-1719) "See in what peace a Christian can
Akiba ben Joseph (c.40-c.135) "The paper burns, but the words
fly free." (at the stake, when the Torah was also burned.)
Antoinette, Marie (1755-1793) "Farewell, my children, forever. I
go to your Father."
Astor, Lady Nancy (1879-1964) "Jakie, is it my birthday or am I
dying?" (Seeing all her children assembled at her bedside in her last
Austen, Jane (1775-1817) "Nothing but death." (When asked by her sister
Cassandra if there was anything she wanted.)
Baer, Max (1909-1959) [American boxer, Heavyweight Champion
1934-5] "Oh God, here I go..."
Barrie, James M. (1860-1937) [Author of Peter Pan and other works] "I
Barrymore, John (1882-1942) Die? I should say not, dear fellow.
No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.
Bass, Sam (1851-1878) [Texas Outlaw] "Let me go - The world is
bobbing around me." (Also reported as "The room is jumping up and
down" and "The world is a bubble - trouble wherever you go".)
Beaverbrook, Lord (1879-1964) "This is my final word. It is
time for me to become an apprentice once more. I have not settled in which
direction. But somewhere, sometime, soon." (The last public statement
before his death, speech at Dorchester Hotel, 25 May 1964)
Beck, Martha ( -1951) [American murderess] "My story is a love
story, but only those who are tortured by love can understand what I mean.
I was pictured as a fat, unfeeling woman. True, I am fat, but if that is a
crime, how many of my sex are guilty. I am not unfeeling, stupid or
moronic. My last words and my last thoughts are: Let him who is without
sin cast the first stone." (Before her execution.)
Becket, Thomas (c.1119-1179) "I am ready to die for my Lord,
that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace." (One version of
his last words.)
Beecher, Henry Ward (1813-1887) "Now comes the mystery."
Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770-1827) "Friends applaud, the comedy
is over." Beethoven's publisher's web site (www.schott-music.com) claims
his secretary wrote that he said "Pity, Pity - too late!"
Bevan, Aneurin (1897-1960) "I want to live because there are a
few things I want to do." (During his last illness.)
Bogart, Humphrey (1899-1957) "I should never have switched from
Scotch to Martinis." (Unverified -- attributed.) (A recent television
biography of Bogart includes Lauren Bacall, his wife, saying that he was
at home bedridden with cancer when she left the house briefly, maybe to do
grocery shopping. "Hurry back", he said as she closed the door. When she
returned he was dead.)
Brown, James (1933-2006) "I'm going away tonight." (Reported by
his personal manager, Charles Bobbit, who said he was at Brown's bedside
when he died, and added that Brown said the statement above, then took
three long, quiet breaths, and closed his eyes.)
[American boxer, Heavyweight Champion
1934-5] "Oh God, here I go..."
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett (1806-1861) "Beautiful." (When asked by her
husband how she felt.)
Bouhours, Dominique [French grammarian] "I am about to--or I am
going to--die; either expression is used."
Burbank, Luther (1849-1926) "I don't feel good."
Byron, Lord (1788-1824) "Goodnight."
Cavell, Edith Louisa (1865-1915) "Standing, as I do, in the view
of God and eternity I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have
no hatred or bitterness towards anyone." (To the chaplain who attended
her before her execution by the Germans, 12 October 1915)
Chaplin, Charles (1889-1977) When the priest who was attending
him at his bedsite said "May the Lord have mercy on your soul", Chaplin is
reported to have replied "Why Not? After all, it belongs to him." However, this may
be apochryphal, since the words are a quotation from his 1946 film, "Monsieur Verdoux",
and Chaplin reportedly died in his sleep.
Charles I, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1600-1649) "Stay for the sign." (After the English Civil War, Charles was
tried for treason, convicted, and sentenced to death. His last words were
spoken to the executioner, waiting to behead him. He asked if he might be
given a moment to pray, and then, when he gave the sign, the ax could
Charles II, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (1630-1685) "I have been a most unconscionable time dying, but I beg you
to excuse it." (Following the death of Cromwell, Charles I's son became
King when the Stuarts were restored to the throne. Arts and Literatire
thrived; Charles II was known as "The Merry Monarch".)
Childers, Robert Erskins (1870-1922) (Irish Nationalist,
executed by an Irish Free State firing squad) "Take a step forward,
lads. It will be easier that way."
Chubbock, Christine "And now, in keeping with Channel 40's
policy of always bringing you the latest in blood and guts, in living
color, you're about to see another first--an attempted suicide." (just
before she shot herself during a broadcast)
Claudel, Paul (1868-1955) "Doctor, do you think it could have
been the sausage?"
Cleveland, Grover (1837-1908) "I have tried so hard to do the
Costello, Lou (1906-1959) "That was the best ice-cream soda I
Coward, Noel (1899-1973) "Goodnight my darlings, I'll see you
tomorrow." (On going to bed.)
Coy, Bernard ( -1946) [American criminal] "It don't matter; I
figure I licked the Rock anyway." (After he was shot down attempting to
escape from Alcatraz Prison)
Crane, Hart (1899-1932) "Goodbye, Everybody!" (Said when he
committed suicide by jumping overboard during a steamship voyage.)
Crosby, Bing (1903-1977) "That was a great game of golf,
Crowley, Francis "Two Gun" (1900-1931) (American bank
robber and murderer, before his execution in the electric chair) "You
sons of bitches. Give my love to Mother."
Czolgosz, Leon (1873-1902) "I killed the president because he
was the enemy of the good people, the good working people. I am not
sorry for my crime." (Before his execution for the assassination of
Danton, Georges-Jacques (1759-1794) "Thou wilt show my head to
the people; it is worth showing." (To his executioner, 5 April 1794)
Dean, James (1931-1955) "My fun days are over."
(Shortly before his fatal car crash.)
Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886) "... the fog is rising."
Eastman, George (1854-1932) "My work is done, why wait?"
(His suicide note.)
Emmett, Christopher Scott (1972-2008) "Tell my family and friends
I love them, tell the governor he just lost my vote. Y'all hurry this
along, I'm dying to get out of here." (Just before his execution in
Virginia; he challenged the legality of lethal injections as cruel and
unusual punishment, but a federal appeals court rejected his claims.)
Feynman, Richard (1918-1988) "I'm glad I don't have to
die twice - it's so boring"
Fillmore, Millard (1800-1874) "The nourishment is
Flynn, Errol (1909-1959) "I've had a hell of a lot of fun and
I've enjoyed every minute of it." (Said shortly before his death.)
Fox, Charles James (1749-1806) "I die happy."
Gainsborough, Thomas (1727-1788) "We are all going to Heaven,
and Vandyke is of the company." (Attributed last words.)
Gandhi, Indira (1917-1984) "I don't mind if my life goes in the
service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will
invigorate the nation." (Said the night before she was assassinated by
Goldman, Charley ( -1970) [American boxing manager] "Only
suckers get hit with right hands."
Gwenn, Edmund (1875-1959) "It is. But not as hard as farce." in
_Time_ 30 January 1984 (On his deathbed, in reply to the comment `It
must be very hard.')
Heine, Heinrich (1797-1856) "Dieu me pardonnera. C'est son
metier." [God will pardon me. It is his trade.] (On his deathbed.)
Henry, O. (1862-1910) "Turn up the lights, I don't want to go
home in the dark." (Quoting a popular song, 5 June 1910)
Hill, Joe (also Joel Emmanuel Hagglund or Joseph Hillstron) (1879 or 1882 to 1915) "Fire" (Just prior to his execution by firing
squad in Utah for a murder he most probably did not commit.)
Housman, A. E. (1859-1936) "That is indeed very good. I shall
have to repeat that on the Golden Floor!" (To his doctor, who told him
a joke just before he died.)
Horatio, Lord Nelson
(1759-1805 "Kiss Me, Hardy"
(Thomas Hardy, the captain of HMS Victory, carried Nelson below decks after he had
been hit, and this is what Hardy reported as Nelson's last words; but Nelson is also
reported to have later said "Thank God I have done my duty"; Nelson's secretary, John
Scott, recorded Nelson's last words as "God and my country". There is also speculation
that what was recorded as "Kiss Me, Hardy", might have been "Kismet, Hardy".)
Huss, John (c.1369-1415) "O sancta simplicitas! [O holy
(On noticing a peasant adding a faggot to the pile at his execution.)
Jackson, Thomas Jonathan `Stonewall' (1824-1863) "Let us pass
over the river and rest under the shade of the trees." (He had been
inadvertedly shot by his own men.)
Jefferson, Thomas (1743-1826) "Is it the Fourth?"
(4 July 1826)
Jolson, Al (1886-1950) "This is it. I'm going. I'm going."
Kath, Terry Alan (1946-1978) [Founding member of the
rock band Chicago] "Don't worry, it's not loaded."
(Reportedly said to Don Johnson, while pointing a 9-mm semiautomatic
pistol to his own head. The single bullet left in the chamber killed
Kelly, Ned (1854-1880) [Australian folk hero and outlaw and
legend]. "I suppose it had to come to this. Such
is life." (As the hangman adjusted the hood to cover his face.)
Kennedy, John Fitzgerald (1917-1963) "If someone is going to
kill me, they will kill me." (On arriving in Dallas, 1963)
Keynes, John Maynard (1883-1946) "I wish I'd drunk more
Lee, Robert Edward (1807-1870) "Strike the tent."
Lehar, Franz (1870-1948) "Now I have finished with all earthly
business, and high time too. Yes, yes, my dear child, now comes death."
Lewis, Wyndham (1884-1957) "Mind your own business." (When his
nurse asked him about the state of his bowels on his deathbed.)
Louis XIV (1638-1715) "Why are you weeping? Did you imagine that
I was immortal?" (Noticing as he lay on his deathbed that his attendants
Malcolm X (1925-1965) "Cool it, brothers..."
(His last words before being assassinated.)
Marx, Karl (1818-1883) "Go on, get out. Last words are for
fools who haven't said enough."
McLain, James ( -1970) [American criminal] "Take lots of
pictures! We are the revolutionaries!" (Before being killed by the
police, as he tried to shoot his way to freedom at his trial.)
Morant, Lt. Henry H. ("Breaker")(b. Edwin Henry Murrant) (1864-1902) [Australian Anglo-Boer War soldier and poet] "Shoot
straight, you bastards! Don't make a mess of it!" (To the firing squad
that executed him.)
Morgan, John Pierpont (1837-1913) "I've got to get to the top
of the hill..."
Mussolini, Benito (1883-1945) "But, but, mister Colonel..."
(Before being executed.)
Napoleon I (1769-1821) "Chief of the Army."
Narvaez, Ramon Maria (1800-1868) "I do not have to forgive my
enemies, I have had them all shot." (Said on his deathbed, when asked by
a priest if he forgave his enemies.)
Oates, Lawrence (1880-1912) "I am just going outside and may be
some time." (Before leaving the tent and vanishing into the blizzard on
the ill-fated Antarctic expedition (1910-1912). Oates was afraid that his
lameness would slow down the others.)
Olivier, Laurence (1907-1989) "This isn't Hamlet, you know,
it's not meant to go into the bloody ear." (To his nurse, who spilt water
over him while trying to moisten his lips.)
Palmerston, Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount (1784-1865) "Die, my
dear Doctor? That's the last thing I shall do!" (Attributed last words.)
Philby, St John ( -1960) "God, I'm bored."
Picasso, Pablo (1881-1973) "Drink to me."
Presley, Elvis (1935-1977) "I hope I haven't bored you."
(Concluding what would be his last press conference.)
Raleigh, Sir Walter (1554-1618) "I have a long journey to take,
and must bid the company farewell."
Rhodes, Cecil John (1853-1902) "So little done, so much to do."
Rodgers, James W. ( -1960) [American criminal] "Why yes, a
bulletproof vest!" (On his final request before the firing squad.)
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano (1882-1945) "I have a terrific
Roosevelt, Theodore (1858-1919) "Put out the light."
Rosenberg, Ethel (1918-1953) "We are the first victims of
American fascism!" (Before her execution.)
Rosenberg, Julius (1918-1953) "We are innocent. That is the
whole truth. To forsake this truth is to pay too high a price even for
the priceless gift of life. For life thus purchased we could not live out
in dignity." (Before his execution.)
Runyon, Damon (1884-1946) "You can keep the things of bronze and
stone and give me one man to remember me just once a year."
Saki (Hector Hugh Munro) (1870-1916) "Put that bloody cigarette
(Just before being killed by a sniper, 14 November 1916)
Sanders, George (1906-1972) "Dear World, I am leaving you
because I am bored. I am leaving you with your worries. Good luck." (His
Sedgwick, John (1813-1864) "Nonsense, they couldn't hit an
elephant at this distance." (In response to a suggestion that he should
not show himself over the parapet during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.)
Senna (Da Silva), Ayrton (1960-1994) [Formula One Race Driver]
"The car seems OK..." [A few seconds later his steering column broke and
he died when his car hit the wall.]
Shaw, George Bernard (1856-1950) "I want to sleep..."
Smith, Adam (1723-1790) "I believe we should adjourn this
meeting to another place."
Stein, Gertrude (1874-1946) "Just before she [Stein] died she
asked, `What _is_ the answer?' No answer came. She laughed and said, `In
that case what is the question?' Then she died."
Stevenson, Adlai E. (1900-1965) "I feel faint." (Before
Thomas, Dylan (1914-1953) "I have just had eighteen whiskeys in
a row. I do believe that is a record."
Thoreau, Henry David (1817-1862)
`Have you made your peace with your God?'
`I never quarreled with my God.'
`But aren't you concerned about the next world?'
`One world at a time.'
(Discussion with his aunt on his deathbed)
Thurber, James (1894-1961) "God bless... God damn."
Villa, Francisco `Pancho' (1878-1923) "Don't let it end like
this. Tell them I said something."
Voltaire (1694-1778) "This is no time to make new enemies."
(When asked on his deathbed to forswear Satan.)
Wallace, William (1270-1305, Scottish Patriot) "Freedom"
[Ascribed to him in the film "Braveheart"; his actual last words, before
being hanged, disembowelled, drawn and quartered, are unknown.]
Washington, George (1732-1799) "It is well, I die hard, but I
am not afraid to go."
Webster, Daniel (1782-1852) "I still live."
Wells, Herbert George (1866-1946) "Go away... I'm allright."
Wilde, Oscar (1854-1900) "Either this wallpaper goes, or I do!"
[The authenticity of this quote is complicated by his deathbed conversion
back to Catholicism and the fact that a priest was with him up to the very
end. Another deathbed quotation is also attributed to him: he asked for
Champagne to sip as he died, and as he sipped, he is reported to have
said: "Alas, I am dying beyond my means."]
Special thanks to people who send us deathbed quotes that are new to us; we're always
grateful for our readers' support and help. A correspondent named Nadia recently sent
James Barrie, Jane Austen, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. John Whittington, in
Australia, sent Joe Hill; Renee Greene of Atlanta sent in James Brown and Charlie
Chaplin. Matt Hardin at the University of Queensland sent in Breaker Morant. Jaroslava
Pallas sent us Marie Antoinette. Thanks to F. Manning for Bogart's last words. Special
thanks to Thom McKee, trivia champ extraordinaire for a correction of John
Sedgwick's place of death. Finally, Tom Davidson sent the quote from Christopher Scott
Emmett; we don't usually include last words that are so recent, but the situation seemed
unusual enough to go ahead and add it to the list.
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